Review: American Classic Barbershop

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A friend and former co-worker of mine recently announced that her husband was opening a new barbershop. When she told me the prices (just $6 this week only!) he was going to charge and that he cuts kids’ hair, I knew I had finally found a place to send my husband and little boy. Adam Crowley and his business partner John (also a barber) opened up the doors to the American Classic Barbershop in Pinellas Park, Florida yesterday. Since Alistair’s hair was covering his handsome brown eyes, I was anxious to get him in. My husband Dan can go another time.

The shop is located at 4201 62nd Avenue in a short shopping strip. It was a little difficult to spot, though. You just have to look for 42nd Street because the plaza signs don’t stand out. There’s plenty of parking at the plaza so you can park in front of the shop. The shop itself is a work in progress, however it’s not a construction zone. They have two barber chairs and plenty of seats for waiting customers, including a church pew! They hope to mount a couple of TVs on the wall in the future so you can watch sports while you wait. They also have a kids section along the back wall of the shop, which includes a TV with kid-friendly movies, toys and cars. We had a hard time tearing Alistair away from the play area to get him in the chair. Once we did though, he loved the cute sea creature cape Adam put on him. He loves hammerhead sharks and sting rays.

Adam was very patient with my squirmy 3-year-old; it went much better than I expected. I thought for sure Alistair would be afraid of the clippers than he was. After using the clippers, Adam went back with the scissors to make sure it was perfect and to get around his cute little ears. His hair was a bit shorter than I like, but that’s okay because I rarely get his hair cut. So if you’re looking for a place in St. Petersburg/Pinellas Park to get your child’s hair cut, you need to try Adam at American Classic Barbershop. Don’t forget to tell him that Jenn at Patrons Insurance Agency sent you!

If you’d like your Florida business featured on this blog and become a Partner of Patrons, please call us at 727-394-1890 or email us at tim@patronsinsurance.com.

Banyan Tree Catering: New Partner of Patrons

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Debbie Murray

We’re happy to announce our newest Partner of Patrons, Banyan Tree Catering. If you’re looking to cater an event of any size, on any budget, you need to call Debbie and Nevar Murray of Banyan Tree Catering. You may have seen Debbie on the Home Shopping Network (HSN) with world-renowned chef, Wolfgang Puck. In fact, they’re on the air all weekend, for Wolfgang’s 12th Anniversary, selling all kinds of wonderful WP products like a rice cooker, 3-in-1 blender, convection oven, knife set, grill/griddle and a cook set.

In addition to being an on-air demonstrator, Debbie is also a cookbook author (she has 8 published so far!) and has been catering for the elite in Tampa Bay. Her beautiful daughter, Nevar, recently worked the star-studded  Governor’s Ball and other red carpet events with Wolfgang Puck.

This mother-daughter duo is known for making delicious food that looks amazing. They cater weddings, dinner parties, graduations, benefits. Patrons Insurance Agency customers can get a special discount of 10% off. Just print out your coupon here. You can also find Baynan Tree Catering on Facebook.

Contact Debbie at 727-403-4978 or debbie@banyantreecatering.com. Don’t forget to tell her that we sent you.

Flood Insurance For Your Business

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My husband’s family lives in Rhode Island, along with our friends at Astonish Results. Last night my mother-in-law told me that the Warwick Mall recently reopened after being closed for nearly five months. In March, Warwick, Rhode Island underwent historic flooding. You can see how severe the damage was in this photo gallery. Dan says the mall was at or below sea-level. It took millions of dollars to restore the mall.

If you own a business here in Florida, you know you need flood insurance. It rains here nearly every afternoon and evening. Can you afford to rebuild or put your business on hold due to flooding? One of the mall’s largest department stores, Macy’s, isn’t scheduled to reopen until the Spring of 2011. They must have lost so much keeping their store closed for so long. Just think of all the employees who were suddenly out of work.

If you’d like to learn more about commercial and flood insurance, please call us at 1-888-721-1949 or stop by our office at 11322 Seminole Boulevard in Largo, Florida. You can also check out www.FloodSmart.gov and find out if your business in a low-to-moderate risk area or a high risk area–if it’s in the former you may qualify for a lower/preferred rate. Don’t forget that there’s a 30 day waiting period for flood insurance from the date of purchase to the date the policy goes into effect. So don’t put off that phone call or business.

Restaurant Review: The Conch Republic

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16699 Gulf Boulevard North Reddington Beach, FL

One of my favorite things about my birthday is the traditional birthday dinner out with my family. Every year my parents let me pick where I want to eat and buy us all dinner. I love to try new places so I asked my friends on Facebook for recommendations. They said I should go to the Conch Republic on North Reddington Beach, so I did.

The food was awesome! We started with the smoked fish spread on Club crackers that was so good that my fish-hating dad ate it and so did my 3-year-old. My son kept eating the spread off the same cracker (yes, it became gross) and asking for more. Then, I had a house salad with bleu cheese dressing–pretty good. For my main course, I had the Stuffed Pork Chop–amazing! It was a Bone-in oak-grilled pork chop butterflied stuffed with their own apple bacon chutney dressing, topped with an apple walnut glaze. I only wish I could’ve eaten while it was hot. I was holding the baby when it came out, but it was delicious at a few degrees above room temperature.

I would love to go back, but next we’ll go with the kids when it isn’t so busy. We went on a Friday night and the restaurant was packed. We were seated very close to a full bar so it was cramped and LOUD! It was also difficult to get a high chair. There was only one left when we showed up at 6:30p.m., but the buckle was broken, something my 7-month-old can’t be without. We had to take turns holding him and eating until another chair was free, which wasn’t until halfway through our main course. Yet, these were my only issues and I could easily avoid them by eating there on a weeknight or at lunch time. And, if you don’t have little ones and don’t mind some noise, it’s not an issue at all.

On the bright side, the food was great and everyone sitting to the right of the bar had a great view of the beach. The staff was very friendly and helpful and it was reasonably priced ($15-$25 per person). Next time I’ll try some of their seafood, like the Cedar Plank Salmon or the Fresh Gulf Grouper (my mom and husband had, and loved, grouper sandwiches).

Just a reminder, Patrons Insurance Agency insures restaurants and other businesses. If you’d like choosing a policy for your business, please call us at 727-394-1890 or get a free quote online at www.patronsinsurance.com.

Free Breakfast on my Birthday!

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7401 Gulf Blvd. St. Pete Beach, FL

Today I want to tell you how a stranger made my birthday extra special. This morning my husband offered to take us out to breakfast, which we never do, and I said “Yeah!”. I read a review for one restaurant on St. Pete Beach, but it was labeled expensive and mediocre. One of the reviewers mentioned a placed called Beverly’s La Croisette. My mom called to wish me a happy birthday and she mentioned La Croisette without knowing that I was already planning on going there. I also posted a question on the Patrons Insurance Agency Facebook page asking where people like to get breakfast in town and one of our fans recommended the very same place. We were destined to go!

The place is small, but neat and full of loyal customers. We picked a seat and our waitress Meredith “Mere Bear” was quick to greet us and take our drink order. She even stopped to help us adjust the high chair straps for the baby. Their menu was full of wonderful choices for breakfast. I was immediately drawn to the omelettes and had to have the Florida Omelette, which came with avocado (my favorite!), tomato, cheddar cheese and sour cream. It was spectacular! I also adored the hash browns (so crispy and flavorful) and the fresh-baked croissant. But before the food came out I overheard a couple, at the table next to ours, mention they were also celebrating a birthday. I wished the woman a happy birthday and vice versa. We chatted briefly. Then we ate and so did they. Before we could even ask for our check, “Mere Bear” told us that the bill was taken care of by my birthday buddy at the next table.

I was so excited to eat I forgot to take a picture first. So this omelette is 1/3 gone.

I was so amazed by the generosity of this stranger, I just had to give her a hug. We talked some more and I found out that her name is Judy and her husband’s is Frank. They attend a local Catholic church and often do this sort of thing for people (according to our waitress, not Judy). She said my breakfast was a blessing from God, not them. I’m so happy that God lead us to this restaurant, where we could eat a delicious breakfast (including plate-sized pancakes) and make some new friends. Judy, if you’re reading this, thank you so much! You are an inspiration. To the owners and staff, we’ll be back to try those giant waffles!

Lunch At Bubbie’s Cafe

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Friday I finally had the pleasure of eating at Bubbie’s Brown Bag Cafe. I came after their lunch rush, so I was able to take my time and ask questions. Owner, Chris Dunn, encouraged me that “the menu is really just full of suggestions” and I could have whatever I wanted. You can choose your bread, meat, cheese and toppings. Chris made me his own variation of the Reuben, hot corn beef topped with homemade cole slaw and swiss cheese on toasted marble rye bread with homemade Russian dressing. It was a thing of beauty. I had to take a couple of photos before my first bite.

You won’t find this sandwich on the menu, but you can ask Chris how he likes his Reuben and he’ll make you one too. Most people fill up on just one half or have to take a break, but I just kept going. Nursing moms know what I’m talking about. This delicious beast of a sandwich also came with a dill pickle spear, a sample of coleslaw, a bag of chips and a tall glass of A&W rootbeer. The chips and drink were free with my sandwich purchase because I brought in my Patrons Insurance coupon. If you want to get the same deal, click here and print.

While I chowed down, I got a chance to get to know Bubbie, Chris and Amy (Bubbie’s daughter/Chris’ wife). This family is so sweet and welcoming. Bubbie sat down and fed my 6-month-old some organic applesauce so I could eat without a baby crying in my ear. Afterwards he fell asleep in her arms while we talked about having babies and Amy’s special egg salad. They also treated my 3-year-old to some baked (nothing is fried at Bubbie’s Cafe) chicken nuggets. He was so excited to be there, he couldn’t sit still. Thankfully, no one minded. I will definitely go back to Bubbie’s Brown Bag Cafe for lunch soon!

Partner of Patrons: Bubbie’s Brown Bag Cafe

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Last week Katie also interviewed another one of our partners of Patrons, Debbie “Bubbie” Scheier of Bubbie’s Brown Bag Cafe. They’re a Jewish-style deli in the same plaza as our office and you can view their ad here. Unlike Tom at Gulf Flooring, Bubbie and her son-in-law Chris Dunn (owner of Bubbie’s Cafe) have only been in business for a little over a year, but they already stand out from over bay area lunch spots. Bubbie’s Cafe provides nutritious lunches for many private preschools all over Pinellas County and they only serve certified Angus Beef.

Katie, one of our commercial insurance agents, talked to Bubbie about how their business came to be and how they are reaching today’s consumers. Did you know that Bubbie’s Cafe has a special coupon just for friends of Patrons Insurance Agency? Just click here and print out a coupon for a free bag of chips and drink with any sandwich purchase. If you’d like to see their menu before stopping by for lunch or you want to get more information about Preschool Catering, visit their website at www.bubbiesbrownbagcafe.com. You can also find them on Facebook here. To watch Katie’s interview with Bubbie, check out our You Tube channel here. You’ll also find Katie’s interview with Tom at Gulf Flooring as well as our Ask An Agent videos.

Bubbie’s Brown Bag Cafe is located at 11334 Seminole Boulevard in Largo, Florida. They’re open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.. Call ahead (727-319-3377) with your order if you want to grab your lunch and go. Don’t forget your coupon!

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